tv [untitled] November 15, 2010 6:30pm-7:00pm PST
it can be a useful tool for sub- operators. i am in support of this legislation. supervisor chiu: thank you. next speaker? >> good morning, president to, supervisors. i am here today to speak in favor of this proposed legislation on behalf of the neighbors and neighborhoods of san francisco. thank you. supervisor chiu: seeing no more members of the public, public comment is closed. supervisor elsbernd: just one question about the ordinance itself, making sure cuff and that one circumstance i am thinking of is not caught by this. there are some public and
private schools that will occasionally rent out their facilities to an event promoter. they receive funds from the use of the facility. i am not sure that the intent is to capture an administrator to register. i just want to make sure that that is covered, i think, by the definition. if i have laid that out, cheryl? should i feel comfortable? that a school principal or administrator will not get caught having to register? >> i think that that is covered. it might be helpful to hear from the department. sphere if they feel they need additional language. supervisor chiu: putting this in context, we wanted to make sure
that this legislation did not capture that. on page 3 of the legislation it states -- an event that is a fund-raiser for charitable or similar purposes would not be covered under this. supervisor elsbernd: right, so this is more to the department. not the school hosting the event for the school, the school renting to you where you are having an event for your own private purposes but the school is incurring revenue from the usage. certainly, you have to register. but does the school have to register for having allowed you to use the facility? >> no. supervisor elsbernd: all that i am looking at here is on page 3, subsection one, renting the
event site. there are other exemptions later? >> the commander was right, the details will be implemented. supervisor chiu: again, i want to thank the stakeholders for the many months of work on this. to the commission and the police department, the office of small business, cmac, my staff, and representatives from the industry and neighborhoods. colleagues, can this be moved forward with recommendation? without objection, it will be moved forward with recommendations. madam clerk, please call items three and four together. >> item #3, hearing to review the current state of maintenance and repair of pg&e's pipeline and electricity transmission infrastructure in san francisco and to receive an update on actions to be taken by pg&e to
mitigate safety risks and economic impact, including pg&e's plans for installing modern safety features such as automatic shutoff valves and leak-detection systems and monitoring of underground electrical vaults. item number four, hearing on the intitial report regarding the utility infrastructure safety review per resolution no. 442- 10, on file with the clerk of the board of supervisors in board file no. 101168. supervisor chiu: thank you. these are items that were brought to us by a number of our colleagues. i know that we have a number of representatives from apartments prepared to make represent -- presentations. are there any preliminary comments? items related to city concern after the aftermath of the san bruno tragedy to make sure that such a situation will not happen
again here in san francisco. supervisor mirkarimi: i want to make sure how thorough we are in representation to this hearing. is there a representative from pg&e here? >> good morning, supervisors. my understanding is that the rep is on their way. they should be here shortly. i am prepared to review what we have done to date. supervisor mirkarimi: we look forward to that. i just wanted to make sure we have a well-rounded cast. supervisor chiu: we have just been joined by supervisor maxwell. any initial comments? or should we proceed to presentation?
supervisor maxwell: i wanted to thank you all for coming in. this is an extremely important issue. looking around the country, people are more concerned about infrastructure issues than ever. what has happened recently for us brought it home. i look forward to hearing where we are, what we have done, and where we are going. supervisor chiu: i understand that the fire chief is here specifically regarding item number four, although there may be questions posed to you regarding item #3. madam fire chief? >> thank you. supervisors maxwell and chiu, i
applaud you for bringing this resolution fourth. we are obviously concerned about the safety of our citizens in light of the events of september 9. very soon after that explosion on the ninth, i have one of my deputy chiefs with me as well. on the morning of september 10 the mayor put together this review committee. we had a review worker. part of item #4 is explaining the overview end of day of what has happened in the last few days since that explosion. i would be happy to answer any questions for you. my understanding is that some of the people we have worked with, as well as mr. johnson, are on their way to provide any
information that they can. basically, this is a chronological history of what we have done since the explosion. so, we will get started. as i mentioned at the top of my presentation, the utility infrastructure safety review was formed on september 10 of this year just following the explosion. the mayor appointed myself to be the review in light of the explosion. the goal and objectives include for us to determine the lions, age, location, and maintenance. distinguishing transmission lines and distribution lines in the city.
on september 15 we had a meeting at the fire department headquarters. basically it was to let them know that the review panel had been formed and begin the dialogue of what we had been expecting to have a better understanding of what happened and make sure that it does not repeat itself in this city or any other city. we discussed objectives, time lines, and what we would do as we move forward. we talked about pipeline shut down practices in the history that were discussed specific to san francisco. we also requested detailed maps of the natural gas pipeline infrastructure within the city and county. on september 16, the following friday after the explosion, several of us went to the mayor and did a site visit where the explosion occurred. following up on that, september
23 we had requested maps officially i am writing, not only at that meeting, that there was a delivery to the fire department maps of the city and distribution lines and transmission lines coming into the city. the main difference was also explained that there are distribution lines throughout the city. the transmission lines, obviously under much higher pressure, causing an explosion or part of the explosion, there are three main transmission lines coming into san francisco. on that day the gas line distribution maps were delivered to the san francisco fire department headquarters. the goal would be to have a shared with members in the department. with a better understanding and so forth.
on nine -- don the 29th of september, members of my staff and commissioners, rather than meeting at the department we went over to pg&e, reviewing their emergency operations plan. we took a look at their center and looked at how they went into action on the ninth. we also went upstairs to where they have a gas operations center. they showed us their math, which is fairly high tech and very much in real time, able to determine pressure and so forth. supervisor chiu: by the way, i
wanted to mention that we have been joined by supervisor chu. supervisor maxwell: one of the issues during that time was turning off the gas itself. did they give you a procedure it was a manual procedure as it was in san bruno. automatic shutdown procedures or remote shutdown procedures for that. supervisor maxwell: is there anything that happens if the pressure gets above or below that? there is no automatic shut down for monitoring that goes on? >> there is definitely monitoring that goes on, but in terms of shutting down by
understand it is a manual procedure. i would like to defer to the gas experts that will be here shortly. we have mats and distribution lines and where those stations are for the shutdown. they are manual at this point. supervisor maxwell: in sentences go we have installed -- in san francisco we have installed [unintelligible] which is my interest. >> a great pointed to make. i believe that jackie's der is already calling for research into that. we did pose that question to him and i think it would be great for him to describe to you what pg&e intends to do to address that. ok? continue?
on october 12 we asked pg&e to provide us training regarding natural gas to the san francisco fire department. we had about 50 people that receive that training. i will indicate that we have a very strong working relationship with pg any, particularly on the electrical side. that is where we have had problems in the past with issues to work through. in light of san bruno, but we have indicated we would like to do is have the same type of relationship in terms of making the input panels that we have already enjoyed on the electrical side. supervisor maxwell: how long was it? >> about 60 minutes to 90 minutes.
that was an in class overview. and how the transfers are done and sore -- and so forth. interestingly, a few days later based on this training we were able to walk through and do a site visit of liquefied natural gas. we were on scene and saw how that occurred. something we had never done before. supervisor maxwell: supervisor mirkarimi and em supervisor mirkarimi:? supervisor mirkarimi: - -- supervisor mirkarimi? supervisor mirkarimi: we have catalogued a number of electoral incidences of outages, which is probably par for the course for many cities around the country. transformers that blew up, manhole covers that were
skyrocketing through neighborhoods in downtown. if you could, give us a little bit of an impression on that reality. the feedback that we get from constituents is not as rosy, potentially, as what you intimated. >> i do have one more slide to get through and then i can address your questions for mr. lee. he worked very closely on the issue of transformers and that issue itself. i do not want to make it sound rosy. the san francisco fire department and the city in general has a good and productive working relationship with pacific gas and electric, as evidenced by the request for training and of their responsiveness in this review panel. anything that we asked for talking with other cities in
terms of a subpoena and so forth, we have a good working relationship. as fire chief i want to be clear that i want them to be accountable. the department's experience is one that where there is an issue, it is addressed in a timely fashion. i think that mr. lee would be able to attest to that as well. supervisor mirkarimi: you did mention the electrical side, i will wait for mr. lee. >> thank you. continuing the time line, on october 27 i had the opportunity to meet with mr. vice and the investigation, he gave me an update in terms of where they were at. it was a work in progress where they thought anywhere between 10 months 18 months to come up with a reason. he did share with me that as the
ntsb investigation progressed, they provided information periodically through the public accent docket. we would be able to have that information. they indicated that when they completed that investigation, probable cause and recommendation to the board members during a public board meeting, i will participate in that sickly or spiritually. -- saidl6civically or spiritual. we are invited to attend and i will keep in touch for updates from ntsb. on november 10, the department of public works posted a town hall publication that provided an overview of the regulatory
requirements for making and locating utilities prior to construction. much of the work that we do when we respond to gas leaks has to do with private contractors and tapping into a line. and then you have a gas leak. there is an obligation on the part of the contractor to make sure that they properly marked and work with utility companies before they do their work. we thought this would be a good idea in terms of public works hosting this meeting to again emphasize the importance for contractors and their obligation that they have to properly address these issues before they start opening the ground. in the follow-up meeting on december 8 with pg&e was to discuss in present detail the issues related to shutdown procedures and whether or not pg&e is interested or inclined in having automatic or remote
control shut off in the length of time that it took to shut down the line. that concludes the update that we have to date. again, i am keenly interested in making sure that our citizens are kept safe. i applaud you for your interest and diligence in following up to see that pg&e is held accountable and that we are given the information needed to do our job as safely and efficiently. supervisor chiu: any additional follow up some supervisor mirkarimi:? has there been an -- any additional follow-up? supervisor mirkarimi: has there been any additional investigation? >> the testing was done on all lines in the city within 36 hours. we tested negative. supervisor mirkarimi: before
that test, were any of those lines ever identified as high priority or high risk? >> not to my understanding, they were not. they were not on that top 10 list. again, i am not the expert. i would respectfully request waiting for mr. johnson. supervisor mirkarimi: is there a system that exists so that there is a categorization of high risk, medium risk, no risk at all? is that information fluid with the city and county? >> yes, that has been provided as a part of the request supervisor mirkarimi:. -- request. supervisor mirkarimi: are we going to be able to follow through to say -- if we are talking gas, talking the entire infrastructure is fine as well,
but if there was already an assessment or ranking saying that this is what needs attention, does san francisco get that information at the same time? >> that is the request we have made. on the electrical side, like i said, i think we are more advanced in terms of our dialogue. we would like to engage and have the same process on the gas inside. my thought would be that on a quarterly basis a small group of us from the city continue to meet with pacific gas and electric for those kinds of updates. if it is a fluid process, going from a medium priority to a high priority, that is our interest. supervisor mirkarimi: who is in the driver's seat to determine, if there is a dire need for high priority need, however it is to
be labeled, that something needs to be fixed? who in the city determines that that is followed through on? is that the fire department? >> it is my responsibility, as well as the city administrator. we are doing this in conjunction with both departments. i have taken the lead from the gas perspective. mr. lee has done a lot of the electrical side. we are both committed to making sure that pg&e is held accountable and that we receive updates. something with shifting priorities gets addressed immediately. supervisor mirkarimi: thank you. supervisor chiu: let's invite the city administrator. i know that you have a presentation from your perspective. supervisor chu supervisor chu:? -- supervisor chu?
supervisor chu: just a question for the chief about the information that has been provided regarding major transmission lines that had been provided to the department along with city administrators understanding the potential risks. have we given much thought about the kinds of information given to the public? if it is located in residential areas, is that something we would want to make public? have we thought about that question belloc's -- question? >> i know that if a member of the public is within a certain radius of a transmission line, they would have the ability to work with pg&e along that line to get that information. the city has not specifically address the if we will be providing that information, but it is in our best interest to
make the public aware that they have the ability to find out about certain utility infrastructure on their homes. supervisor chu: similar to that, members of the board representing different districts, are there things that we should be made aware of? i would request that we be kept in the loop. >> no problem. supervisor chiu: mr. lee? >> good morning, supervisors. i wanted to let you know, pg&e has joined us. they have both the gas, electrical sides with us. i wanted to finish a portion of what i thought was very important for you to understand. as the chief and i have been deliberating, initial meetings deliberated for us the highest level or highest number of gas leaks and what they are caused by.
they are caused by a contractor excavation in the city. we immediately went to a very large town hall meeting as previously described by the chief last wednesday. there were some 50 contractors or agencies that attended. we will continue. that was just a first meeting. it served not only to have the underground service announcement agency, the u.s.a., as you see those markings along the street, for the public to understand these markings -- it is precisely to guide those contractors as permitted by the city, public and private, so that they are aware of those utilities and are sensitive to the utility's beneath the ground when it comes time to excavate. as the case may be, despite the best efforts and past practices, they always need to be updated
in proof. the highest level of interruption has been gas leaks that result from excavation. this can happen in many districts throughout the city. we have made it a high priority for that event to occur. we have periodically revisited with all of the contractors and staff from the public utilities commission, the port commission, any of the staffing people that do project management we have a very old city. if anything, we had a tremendous amount of utilities underground. there contractors are being contacted and we expect to have a larger audience for our next
review. that is a huge amount of education but also a huge effort underway to do adequate prevention in the area that we know will exist. having said that, specific to supervisor mirkarimi's question about the electric side of it, i have been heading a group where we look at the review with pg&e over the reliability of the electric system in the city. we have been working and meeting for about a year and a half. as i can say to you today, i can say the electoral system is both a sensitive and complicated system. we have both old and new equipment in our city.
it takes us a long time to understand how that system works, how we can improve it, how we can prevent some of the explosions that have occurred in the city. a year and a half ago we experienced several series of explosions in the city, most of which in the downtown corridor. as a result of that, we entered a study using outside experts as well as pg&e staff to inform us about these underground transformer networks that exist in our city. as a result of that, we focused on how they not only work, but how they were historic lee inspected by pg&e. one of the most serious lesson we learned was that their inspection were faulty. they simply did not work to prevent the kind of exposure prevent the kind of exposure that occurred on davis st